Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Get out the Kleenex!

What is it about this time of year?

It makes me all sappy and weepy. Even though I'm not hormonally pregnant this year (imagine that)! Maybe that's why this year is even worse than normal.

I am trying to cherish every holiday with my kids while they are little. I swear, I get panic attacks just thinking about how they will get older and move out. And what if they move far away and we don't spend the holidays together? That causes me some serious heart palpitations! I know my parents are having a hard time with this. All the kids are grown and out of the house. We now have to coordinate with our small immediate family, plus in laws, plus extended families. We'll probably do Christmas with my parents the Saturday before Christmas. This leaves them all alone for the actual holiday. I invite them to come to our house (as we don't like to make the kids travel on Christmas day), but I know they won't. I makes me sad to think that someday that might be us (although I'm pretty sure I'd rather drive two hours to my child's house than spend the day alone).

This year is the first year that Jocelyn can appreciate Christmas decorations. Seeing her eyes light up the first time she saw the Christmas tree brought tears to my eyes. Pretty soon it'll just be routine to her and not awe inspiring . And that makes me sad.

Xander is just starting to understand the whole "Santa thing". It's so funny to hear him ask his questions about Santa and how he gets here and gets the presents here. He doesn't understand why he didn't get a "Diego camera" the other day, right after he sat on Santa's lap. It's so cute to see his innocence. In a few weeks we'll go on our yearly trip to The Polar Express. I can't wait to see his reaction this year. I'm sure that'll make me all teary too.

And then every day our radio station grants "Christmas wishes". People write in about people they know that are going through hard times and that might not be able to provide a Christmas for their children. Then the radio station grants the wish. They give the family clothes, toys, gift certificates to the grocery store, a Christmas tree and usually they help with their utilities and rent. It gets me every time. Every single time. I drive to work bawling like a baby. It's amazing what people can do for each other.

And then the commercials. How about the commercial when the son (he's in his early 20's) buys and suit and shows up unexpectedly at his mom's house for the holidays? Sobbing like a baby here! They tug at my heartstrings!

I guess I'm just turning into an old sap. I'm happy with my current life and I get all weepy when I think about how it has to change. I wish I could just freeze the kids in time. I don't want them to grow older. I want Christmas to be special and cool for them forever. I always want them to spend it with me. I want everyone to get everything they want for Christmas. I want to believe in the good of people everywhere.

So, pass the tissue please.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I am thankful...

-for the fact that I got to come to work today. Peace and quiet, amen! Just me and my computer. No one to cook for, no one to yell at for removing all the Christmas tree ornaments.

- for the cow that gave me my lovely hamburger for lunch. I am SO sick of turkey. It was nice to eat some MEAT!

-for my boss not giving me too much to do today so I could finish my online shopping and start catching up on blogs.

-for my van that held all of my Black Friday purchases. It was a tight fit, but they all got in there.

-for my friends and daughter who got up at 3:00 a.m. to shop with me. We even made the news!

-for my husband, who braved the attic and got down all 2384798754 boxes of Christmas decorations so that I could put them up yesterday.

-for my credit card company not denying any of my purchases this weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks, I needed that

Thanks for all of the hugs yesterday. They were definitely needed. Fortunately, I think we've got things at school under control. She was telling the truth. The principal got right on it and spoke to everyone involved. The school is taking action. The school resource officer (a sheriff's deputy) is also involved. I believe we have come to a solution that everyone is happy with. Needless to say, it wasn't easy coming to that solution. I feel for the other family because I don't believe that what was done was malicious, but that it was a stupid mistake. But, we have to honor Carissa's feelings and make sure that she is validated and feels that the situation was handled properly. And I don't want her to ever feel that we dropped the ball and left her hanging. But, what an ordeal.


On a much happier note, ages ago, the wonderful Jo presented me with this lovely award. Thanks you so much!

I would like to pass this award on to:

Heather who is The Queen of Shake-Shake .

Casey from moosh in indy

The queen of funny BOSSY (I know she's hugely famous and has millions of votes and awards, but damn she is SO funny.)

Go visit Jo to pick your copy of the award. And pass it on!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I need a hug

Let's just say that things aren't all happy, happy, joy, joy right now.

I, myself, am feeling overwhelmed lately. With Christmas and all the planning involved and feeling guilty when we don't get together with everyone on Christmas dayand the anxiety over spending money.
With the kids and all the work involved, not to mention Science Fair and doctor's appointments and schoolwork and soccer and baseball and and...

Robert is miserable on midnights. It's just not working. I think he's going to switch to day shift next time. It'll suck because he'll be gone from 7:00 am- 7:00 pm, but at least he'll be happier. And feeling better.

And something happened to Carissa the other day and it sucks. Not to go into details but it really sucks. And we're having to get others involved. And it sucks that it even happened. But, what sucks worse it that I don't know that I completely believe her. See, she lies a lot. And very convincingly. Like with tears and drama, the whole nine yards. I really think this happened, but because of her history a little tiny part of me is doubting her. And I HATE that I feel that way. HATE IT. I wish I could just believe her and support her, but instead I'm wondering if this is going to turn on us and that she's going to be lying. I pray that she' s not (not that I really want this thing to have happened, but I really want her to be telling the truth).

So, can I just get a hug? Thanks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Click the bunny!

Look at me all famous and stuff! Just kidding. But, I guest posted at Megan's so she could keep up with Naneenaneepoopoo or whatever it's called.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Let the Countdown Begin

No, not the countdown for Christmas. The OTHER countdown. The BIG one.

Seven days until Black Friday!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!

I really am a fanatic. I think it's because I'm such a bargain shopper. I am obsessed with saving money. Most of my purchases are very well thought out and researched. I'm the queen of cheap travel (but nice travel), grocery coupons and the clearance racks. I LOVE to get a good buy. I rarely buy anything full price, from food to clothes to toys.

That's why Black Friday is my favorite day. I can get TONS of good deals all in one day. Enough deals to last me through all of the birthdays for the whole year! I have a closet stocked full of things that I buy on BF for every birthday party we might be invited to for a whole year.

I love the thrill of it too. And the crowds. I love the crowds. It marks the beginning of the holiday season for me. The beginning of the holiday season, starts at 3:00 a.m. on November 23rd this year!

I have a whole strategy. I read the ads for weeks ahead of time, plan what I'm buying, plan the whole day- Kohls, Circuit City, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Sears and Target. My friend and I take turns waiting in the hellish checkout lines while the other goes and stacks their arms as high as possible. Carts are not an option.

This year, my friend is going out of town for Thanksgiving, so I'm on my own. I might have found someone else to go with me, but it's not the same. We have a tradition! We've done it for years now. When I was about to pop with Xander (and subsequently almost passed out in Toys R Us), the next year when I was pregnant with Jocelyn (luckily I did better that time) and the year after.

So, be thinking of me when you're still wrapped up in your warm blankets. I'll be camped out with my coffee, chatting up strangers in the line! I'll have to take a picture of my loot and post it next week. After my nap!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What do you do all day?

Ahhh, I've been so busy. Just a quick post. I'm trying to catch up on my reading, plus life. I'll be back in full form soon, promise.

So, I get asked questions about my job all the time. When I tell people that I work for a judge, they have tons of questions. They think it's like the shows on TV. And that I'm in the courtroom and all sorts of crazy stuff goes down. Um, no. Nothing like that.

Unfortunately, it's not really an exciting job. I do love my job and love my boss, but it's not all that glamorous. On the TV shows, the others get all the limelight. They never show the Judicial Administrative Assistant. I'm not the bailiff, not the clerk in the courtroom, not the court reporter. I'm the behind the scenes girl.

Basically, I handle my judge's calendar, in and out of court. I do all of her secretarial type of work: typing letters, answering the phone, preparing her files, making travel arrangements, massaging her feet (just kidding). I draft her orders and rulings and get them filed. I am her bodyguard. Actually, I kindof am. I have to make sure that no one has ex-parte communication with her. So, I screen her calls and guests. Sometimes I research cases and past filings.

Right now we're on a Juvenile court rotation. And my judge is the Presiding Judge. So, she holds lots of meetings. Sometimes I have to take notes. A lot of times I have to work her schedule to make sure she gets to all of these meetings. That is a full time job itself.

It may not be glamorous, but my boss is the best. She is great about backing up her employees. And she always thanks us and lets it be known that she appreciates us. We have six women in our division and we get along wonderfully. I actually job share. I work the beginning of the week and she works the end of the week. It works out really nicely for us.

I have to admit that sometimes work is my respite. I love my children dearly, but sometimes I need to get out of the chaos and go to my quiet place. And I NEED adult interaction. It really is the best of both worlds. Plus, where else would I be able to catch up on all of my blog reading?

Friday, November 9, 2007

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

So, when I put out the call for questions, the great mielikki asked:

Christmas tree, live or fake?

I have to admit that I'm a Christmas tree snob. I like the tree to be uniform and matchy and beautiful. I LOVE the trees on display where all the ornaments are gold and red or blue and silver, etc.

So, I have to have a fake tree. They are uniform. And they come pre-lit, which is the BEST. And they hold the ornaments much better than a real tree. I think we only had a real tree twice when I was growing up. And I remember being frustrated that the ornaments wouldn't stay. And my dad took freakin' FOREVER to string the lights.

I have to admit that I put up two trees. And if I had room I'd have even more. I have a "family tree". It's 7 feet tall (we have vaulted ceilings) and it's pre-lit. This is the one that the kids decorate (and I redistribute the ornaments when they're in bed). All the "normal" ornaments go on this tree.

I also have "my" tree. It's only 5 1/2 feet tall. It's my fairy and snowflake tree. All the ornaments are blue and silver. And I string it with blue lights. I just love it.

How many trees do you have? Real or fake?

In other news, I've been super busy around here. Cleaning closets and garages. Donating toys and clothes. And general organizing.
Corey- I plan to answer your question in four parts, when I get a minute.
Jo- Thanks for the award. I'll post it soon!
I have figured out the Truth or Dare meme, just need time to post it all.
I'm slowly catching up, but this weekend is busy. Soccer, football party, Christmas pictures, Veteran's Day, etc.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Picture Pages

Tutu courtesy of my friend Keara who makes custom tutu's (it's green and yellow bc she's going to wear it to Carissa's soccer games)
Someone wanted her brother's Popsicle.
Our after Halloween costume purchases

Carving pumpkins
From left to right: Jocelyn's, Xander's, Carissa's and Robert's (his first year doing his own carving)
Robert's treasure chest birthday cake. I put graham cracker crumbs around to look like sand. The rest is cake and candy.
Doing pirate activities

Jocelyn helped make the cake too!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


What? You say it's not January? Not time to do resolutions (that always get broken)?

I beg to differ. (No, I agree that it's not January, for the love of god it's still 90 degrees here!) But, I have decided to make some resolutions. Does playing semantics really matter? Should I wait two more months to resolve to do something (when the bug is up my rear right now)? I don't think so.

And if I put them here, then you can challenge me and make sure I follow them. Please, ask me regularly if I'm keeping up. I need to be held accountable. And I can't count on my husband. He caves. Because he knows I'll punish him if he makes a remark about me not exercising, or anything similar. And he doesn't like my kind of punishment (let's just say that it involves the bedroom or doesn't for that matter).

So, here are my new resolutions:

1. Three hours of tv for me a day. Including days off, weekends, etc. I usually leave the tv on all day when I'm home. I don't sit and watch it, but it's always on and I'll occasionally glance at it. I resolve to only have it on when I'm watching it. And to limit what I'm watching. Catch up on my TiVo'd shows and maybe a little Today show. That's it.

2. I resolve to stop eating out at lunch time. Not completely stop, but cut back. I'm really bad about this. I am going to take $30 out of the bank at the beginning of the month and that's it. When it's gone, it's gone.

3. I resolve to stick to my Christmas spending budget. I always go WAY over, every Christmas. I need to set my budget and stick to it.

4. Get back on the exercise train. And stay on it. I resolve to do cardio at least 2x every week and weight training 2x every week.

5. I resolve to praise the kids more often. Try to catch them doing good things and reward them.

6. Get my pictures in order. This is something I procrastinate like crazy. I really need to get all the digitals in order and print some. Can you believe that I haven't printed more than a handful of pictures since 2000?! I need to slowly start printing my favorites. And I need to work on my digital scrapbooks.

7. I resolve to work on meal planning and follow through. I have the best laid plans, then end up falling back on the stand bys. I really want to get in the habit of preparing meals on Sunday and then just cooking/reheating them throughout the week. And doubling them and freezing them.

8. And I resolve to spend less time on the computer, especially at work. Just kidding! I just wanted to see if you were still reading. Actually, I don't spend much time on the computer at home, probably less than an hour a day. Work is a whole different story. Whenever I have free time I jump on. But, as long as my work is done then it's all good.

So, make me stick to it. Hold me accountable. Punish me, publicly humiliate me if I fail.

Monday, November 5, 2007


So, if you read my last post, you know that my mind is mush. And sometimes I just can't come up with good topics.

SOOOOOOO, I decided to steal my wonderful friend Megan's idea and ask for your help.

In the comments, ask me a question or questions. Anything and everything is fair game.

Help a girl out! You want to know what color polish is on my toes? I'm cool with that. You want to know what I ate for lunch? Sure thing.

Seriously, I was always the girl that chose truth. And I'd tell it. I'm not scared! So, let me have it!


I swear my mind is mush. I really thought I might jump on the whole post a day thing this month. Boy, am I glad I didn't commit. Some days I have tons of good ideas to blog about. And I write them down. Then the day comes and I'm not "feeling" it anymore. Sometimes I rethink it and decide it's really stupid. Or not a "current" topic.

And I hate to type up posts ahead of time and then post them on another day. Feels like cheating or something.

I don't know why I pressure myself like that! I have tons of random thoughts. Why don't I just write them down. They don't need to flow or make sense, right?

So, here are my random thoughts for the day:

-I have on pantyhose today. While I love the whole "suck it in" effect, I am allergic to elastic. So, by the end of the day I'll have a big red welt on my belly. Very sexy!
- I made a peanut butter cheesecake for work today. And ate it for breakfast.
-I have got to start working out again. Although, I've been off the Body for Life thing for 2 months and haven't gained a pound! Yay me!
-I NEED to get the kids Christmas pictures taken. But, it's EXHAUSTING. Maybe this year we'll do individual photos and a collage card.
-I need to get Cami's address to send some pirate stuff to K. Robert had a pirate birthday, complete with crafts and I wanted to send her some of the extras.
-I'm bummed because my friend that does Black Friday with me will be out of town. Anyone else want to get to Circuit City at 3:00am? Anyone?
-I really need to stop spending money. But, I have issues!
-I was SO excited that Amazing Race was on last night. Little Robert (I hate saying little and big but that's the only way people tell them apart), Carissa and I all climbed into my bed to watch it. We just love that show.
-I really need to upload some pictures. Why do I always put that off?
-I really need to start working on my mom's Christmas scrapbook.
- And I really need to write thank you notes to my cousin and my grandma. I'm really bad about that too.

Well, that reads more like a to do list. I guess that's why my brain is muddled. I have too much to do.

Here's the winning recipe from last week. The others were ok, but not great. This one was a favorite of everyone.

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas Verde

32oz salsa verde
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken so it's easier)
1/2 c chopped cilantro
2 1/2 c shredded mont jack cheese
6 in tortillas (we prefer flour, but you can use corn)

Heat oven to 400. Mix chicken 1 1/2 c cheese, 1 c salsa and 1/4 c cilantro in bowl. Pour 1 cup of salsa in bottom of 13x9 dish. Take a tortilla and fill with chicken mixture, roll up and place seam down in dish. Repeat for all of chicken mixture. Pour remaining salsa on top, sprinkle with remaining cheese. cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro.